By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
After hearing from local residents for roughly 15 minutes on Monday night, the Everett City Council took decisive action and quickly voted unanimously to support a resolution sponsored by Councilors Michael Mangan, Anthony DiPierro, Richard Dell Isola and Michael McLaughlin opposing the November ballot Question #2, which seeks to remove the cap on charter schools in the State of Massachusetts.
More than 20 residents and teachers were gathered to support the Resolution and ask the councilors to support it, but only four chose to speak during the public speaking portion of the Council meeting.
Opponents of Ballot Question #2 argued that among other things the removal of the cap on charter schools would take funding away from traditional public schools, redirect that public funding to private business enterprises with little or no local control and would do so without state education standards such as requiring teacher certifications and professional development.
One opponent even noted that much of the campaign in favor of Question #2 has been funded by business interests and other non-education based efforts.
However, the Council, in voting in favor of the Resolution opposing the ballot measure focused on the inequity of the funding mechanism, and their individual support of the Everett Public Schools and Everett’s children.
“This is not about being for or against Charter Schools,” noted McLaughlin, “It’s about making the playing field level for everyone.”
“I’m not against Charter Schools,” added Mangan. “I’m just against the funding mechanism that takes funding away from our schools.”